Latest: Search continues for boy lost at sea

PUBLISHED: 08:41 20 August 2012 | UPDATED: 09:45 20 August 2012

Coastguard search started at around 6pm - photo submitted to iwitness24 by Patricia Macauley

Coastguard search started at around 6pm - photo submitted to iwitness24 by Patricia Macauley

(c) copyright

THE search for a four-year-old boy missing in the sea off Burnham beach has begun again this morning (Monday).

Rescue crews search the water. Picture submitted by Tony Hobden.Rescue crews search the water. Picture submitted by Tony Hobden.

An alert was first raised when the youngster fell from the slipway on the beach at around 6pm yesterday, sparking a huge rescue operation involving a number of emergency services.

Coastguard vessels, RNLI teams, BARB, and police and search-and-rescue helicopters were all involved, spending hours scouring the area.

Crews reluctantly halted the search after 10pm last night because there was insufficient light to continue - but teams have been out again since dawn this morning.

BARB chairman Mark Newman said: “Both our hovercrafts were out, including 20 crewmembers through the night.

“A huge area of Bridgwater Bay has been searched and people are feeling very deflated at the moment, having tragically not found the little boy.”

Teams from Weston, Portishead, Burnham and Wales are now involved in the search, which is covering large areas of beach and mudflats.

The boy’s parents received treatment at the scene for water ingestion after they had initially entered the water to try to rescue him themselves.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “A member of the public dialled 999 to inform Swansea Coastguard they had seen two adults go in the water to attempt to rescue a small child and that they needed medical assistance.

“Swansea Coastguard sent the Burnham Coastguard rescue team to the scene, along with the two Burnham RNLI lifeboats.”

It is believed the boy and his family were visiting tfrom the Midlands to visit family in Somerset when the incident occurred.

Updates to follow.

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